The wait is over. City officials say they will release the economic impact of the Democratic National Convention this afternoon.
Pre-DNC speculation was that it would bring about $200 million to the local economy, according to the Charlotte Observer. A private firm compiled the findings.
On a Friday afternoon in late August, two men walk into a Mediterranean restaurant for the first time. Both are wearing polarized sunglasses and wool suits in the dog days of summer. You’d think they were part of the Secret Service.
Stock Car Johnson orders a shawarma lamb wrap but can’t for the life of him pronounce “potato harra.” Each swig of "moonshine" only makes it worse. QC Banks, who only speaks when necessary, gets the falafel wrap. But their orders get switched — and they don’t realize it until they’re eating each other’s lunch.
“I believe I have your shawarma,” Banks deadpans.
Former Ala. Gov. Don Siegelman was found guilty in August on counts of bribery. The facts of his case are widely disputed, but one isn't: he repotted to jail today to serve a 6 1/2 year term. He was in Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention to try to rally support, mostly from President Obama, for his freedom. Of course politicians avoided him with a 10-foot pole. But politics aside, how does a former noted politician feel right before going to prison?
Boy, was security tight in Charlotte last week, and that’s just for tapings of "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. Sitting in the audience for Friday’s show was supposed to be relaxing after a week of deadlines, crushing crowds and the occasional deluge.
Going into the show I could understand the cell phone ban (those trying to sneak a Tweet or random photo during taping got their instruments confiscated, earning public scorn from the strangers sitting nearby). But I was a bit surprised when three of the show’s staffers ordered me to place my notebook under the seat, even after I promised them the pen wasn’t loaded. Since they didn’t deprive me of my awesome powers of recollection, I remember that the show’s final Charlotte taping turned out to be a lot of fun, particularly the pre-show Stewart Q&A. It was a long way from the first time I saw Stewart perform years ago at an HBO event in New York, when his very funny routine was bumped on-air by Paul Rodriguez and Dennis Miller, more well-known comics of the time. He frequented the found food line at that post-show reception, and every time I walked by, he joked that he was a starving comic and needed the lunchmeat.
When Vice President Joe Biden embraced President Barack Obama at a White House signing ceremony for landmark health reforms in March 2010 and whispered, “This is a big fucking deal,” the comment was meant to be private.
The microphone at the podium, however, was hot. The remark went quickly viral, making it one of the most popular political gaffes of the last couple of years.
Plenty of other political figures have fucked up since then. And in case we ever forget, YouTube is there to remind us. But do these gaffes really change the outcome of political elections? Do they ruin political careers? Or do voters forget about them after they’ve run their course on FoxNews and CNN?
Elon University political science professor Matthew Weidenfeld said the media assume, in the moment, that political gaffes can make or break a campaign. But then the attention given to them fades after a while. “Political scientists who have done quick-opinion polling on [gaffes] have found generally fewer people know about these things than we would think,” he said.
(Watch this video we made downtown outside the Democratic National Convention: Do you know which politicians made these completely incorrect, sometimes idiotic statements?)
Barack Obama’s promise of change in 2008 inspired a generation of first-time voters to register and rush to the polls, which most political observers credit for the president’s electoral success four years ago. Support for his campaign was especially prominent among young minority voters.
As a Pew Research Poll found after the historic election of America’s first black president, a large majority of African Americans under the age of 30 — a whopping 95 percent — voted for him.
Fast-forward to present day, and Obama could use a little more of that excitement at a time when polls have him running neck-and-neck with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. While recent surveys show he still has the support of minority and youth voters, this year’s election hasn’t garnered the same degree of dedication.
You couldn’t necessarily tell that from the party faithful who flocked to the Queen City this month for the Democratic National Convention.
“I really love that he did Obamacare, if you want to call it Obamacare,” said Anthony Brown, 24, a self-identified African American. “Healthcare reform was awesome. Keep on slashing prices for tuition and allowing for Pell Grants and, you know, lower the rates for interest on (student) loans.”
Menna Dennessie, a college graduate from Ohio, said she, too, believes Obama is on the right track. “[He] really cleaned up the mess of the prior eight years,” she said. “He is protecting students.”
“If you could fight any celebrity, living or dead, who would it be?”
“Shut the fuck up and sit down!”
Clearly, this isn’t the portion of The Daily Show that aired from coast to coast.
Because it was filming in Charlotte all this week due to the Democratic National Convention, local folks were able to attend the taping of the popular Comedy Central show — or at least those folks who were first lucky enough to reserve free tickets online (they were all swooped up within a couple of hours upon announcement a few months ago) and then fortunate enough to make it into the ImaginOn auditorium after waiting in line for a couple of hours.
CL Atlanta photographer Joeff Davis wraps up his DNC photo coverage. Check out these gems.
DNC in photos: Slut pins, Barack Obama, more
Photos by Joeff Davis
Elon University students Ronda Ataalla and Shakori Fletcher ask women in Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention to share their reactions after hearing First Lady Michelle Obama speak on Tuesday night.
Protesters had a lot to say this week, but they drove one point home on the biggest night.
A machine projected "Fuck the DNC" on different buildings in Uptown during Thursday's big march, the last of the official Democratic National Convention protests.
Occupiers left Marshall Park with daylight on their backs. The three hour march that began at about 7:30 p.m. ran into the beginning of President Obama's speech.
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